Body Blocking

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Body Blocking
Part of La Famille Du Peintre
Date2082-9-30
GMSleevey
LocationSan Francisco
Status Threat Level: High
Factions Involved
ShadowHaven
Mrs. Frost
San Franciscon Runner Team
Katherine Tyler
Centipede
Samsara
Maestro
Immortal Joe
Puzhinat
Whisperer
THUM8DR1V3
Casualties and losses
None


Summary

The runners are hired to stop a wetwork gig, targeting a museum curator at the De Young museum in San Francisco. The catch? The assassination target can never know their life is in danger.

Background

The curator of the Seattle Public Library, Mrs. Frost has friend up in San Francisco by the name of Milread MacLamraigh who curates the De Young Museum. The two are old friends, regularly meeting up to discuss their work and their lives. As old friends do. On one such meeting, Mrs. Frost decided someone was trying to kill her friend. Perhaps it was the strange presence that looked as if it had touched MacLamraigh's aura. Perhaps it was the evidence of matrix snooping or even the Librarian hearing through her grapevine of information that people were asking about MacLamraigh.

For whatever reason, someone wanted MacLamraigh dead and that was enough for Mrs. Frost to call in some very old, very big favors with a friend.

The Meet

After the usual shenanigans, the runners all received calls from their fixers directing them to the Seattle Public Library, in Downtown. They arrived at the yawning structure of interlocking glass and steel. Just as they began puzzling out a way to get through the scanners at the entrance, a suited and sunglassed bodyguard spotted them, muttered a few words into his micro-transceiver and switched off the scanners.

Through the silent bodyguard and some AR icons, the runners were directed through the vast lobby and down a staff entrance. They shuffled down the flights of stairs until they were in the archive. Packed shelves, filled with archived media of all variety surrounded them. Commlinks sat next to thumb-drives and even film strips. Like a natural history museum of old information, all shelved and categorized. The bodyguard directed the runners towards a hallway leading to a small room, with another almost identical bodyguard. The runners were scanned, obvious weapons were taken, and the door to Mrs. Frost's office was opened.

It was a dimly lit room, each corner occupied by yet another suited boyguard and the rest of the space dominated by shelves and an enormous mahogany desk. The shelves contained real, paper books as well as assorted curios and relics. Kate scanned across the spines of the books with wonder before the runners were seated.

Surprisingly, there were 2 people behind the desk. One was obviously Mrs. Frost, an old woman with long greying hair and a sharpness to her gaze. The other was suited man with darkened glasses and an easy-going smile, the hint of a holstered pistol completing the look. The runners were introduced to Mrs. Frost and she began laying out the basic background information, though only after the runners accepted her "bodyguarding gig". She had a friend up in San Francisco named Milread MacLamraigh. Milread was a museum curator. Someone wanted to kill her.

As the old woman finished her side of the bargain, the man next to her made an addition, speaking in the smooth tones of someone who'd played this whole game before and won. They wanted the opposing threat removed, the woman safe and the members of the opposing assassination team brought forth, alive if possible. They would be able to smuggle people with non-forbidden ware into San Francisco by bullet-train with a small suitcase that would not be checked allotted to each member, as well as a SIN. As paymen, 20k nuyen and a deal for SIN's and licenses through hits 'organization' would be issued out to each runner.

The snag came when the old woman spoke once more. She added the small but infuriatingly important caveat that MacLamraigh should never learn her life be in any danger. Can't raise any red flags in an unknown situation, you see, the old woman added with a sharp gleam in her eye.

With the main elementtts of the job established, the runners set off. Some of them would catch a train while two of the team would have to make a few more transportation arrangements.

The Plan

The first roadblock was actually getting into San Francisco. Centipede and Maestro would have an easy enough job of it but for Kate and Samsara, both of whom's bodies were filled with forbidden 'ware, it would prove more troublesome. Kate called up Bautista and promised him 6k to set them with transport. The man did some networking for them, the promise of a nice pile of cash bolstering his efforts, and returned with a smuggler. A man named Pelican was headed that way, he'd smuggle them in on his shipment. It'd take a bit longer but they could make it work.

Maestro and Centipede had a fairly normal bullet-train ride up to San Fran, though Maestro did run into a certain Kenneth "Flamesaw" Murphy and shared some drinks with man. He was taking a nice trip up to San Fran to see the Or'Zet exhibit at the De Young, how nice! Samsara and Kate enjoyed a bumpy and uncomfortable flight amidst boxes of stuff but at the end of the night, the runner team (plus one Kenny) had assembled in San Francisco.

As they set up in a no-tell motel for their high-tech base of operations, they decided on their plan. First, they did some basic matrix recon on their bodyguarding target. They found her info, a fairly average human woman. 45 years old. Museum curator. Drives an Americar. Commutes to work on the same path each day.

The runners tossed a few ideas back and forth, such as Samsara sneaking along to use the noble sacrifice adept ability or Kate slotting bodyguard BTL's nonstop. They even pondered casual mind magic. Eventually, they decided more recon was in order and set out to scan through the De Young museum the following morning.

Also Samsara would get a museum date with Kenny.

The Legwork

The De Young museum is a big building. Two stories of rebar and glass with a 6 story rising above. The runners camped out nearby, waiting for MacLamriagh to make her appearance. And make an appearance she did. About 2 hours before the 9 AM opening time, the familiar Ford Americar pulled up and out stepped Milread MacLamraigh. A short, mousy woman in her early 40's, the few small trappings of upper wage-slave life revealing themselves in the form of her watch and commlink and car. As she began to walk up the steps, Centipede quickly dived into her commlink and extracted a heap of files and call history. As she entered the building and began to sync up her commlink to the host, Centipede got out of there with the files.

There did not turn out to be a great deal of information. Some pretty regular text messages, a lot of disorganized files, nothing stood out as a lead. Dissapointed but not surprised, the runners waited for the museum to open.

As the doors opened and the museum goers poured in, the team followed (though Centipede stayed behind to hack the scanners). Samsara and Kenny had a nice museum, walking through the exhibits. There were several, a Or'Zet exhibit, a late 1800's relic exhibit, a modern art and mixed media exhibit, a classics gallery, an "Ancient People's" one were the standouts. The art museum was pleasant for the most part, though some the auras were a little ... strange. As Samsara peered into them in the 1800's Relic exhibit, an astral backlash struck out. Through pure chance (and a critical glitch), a pseudo-psychometry blazed into her mind, a rapid-fire series of images of America's atrocities against the indigenious peoples. The astral backlash nearly floored her.

Meanwhile, through an equally freakish chance, Kate felt a strange magical tug to one of the relics. A revolver. For a second, strange colors and shaped whirled and spun around the weapon. Then it was gone.

Centipede spent this time attempting to hack into the museum host to grab the camera feeds. Unfortunately, the internal security host and its horrifying spider proved too much for him to handle. He managed to escape intact, though a little rattled.

Maestro took his time in the museum blending in. His natural charisma and charm let him blend in easily until he '''''accidentally''''' bumped into MacLamraigh. He instantly began to lay down the charm, endearing himself to the woman while squeezing info out of her at the same time. Not only did he get the woman's number, he also learned a few interesting tid-bits about museum curatorship. Strange exhibit pieces coming in un-labelled, items disapearing off the records, little rumors and little secrets. Perhaps a tough of magic.

While Maestro was flirting, Kate did a bit of matrix work of her own. While she began looking for strange, heavily engineered items, through hidden talent or sheer luck she managed to spot a commlink running silent by the exit. An odd-modded, high-rated commlink with an off-market sleaze attachment. A runners commlink.

Kate sprinted to the exit and spotted the man getting in his car. A short, nervous looking dwarven man with a nice suit that looked he was still getting used to wearing. He glanced up at Kate. A knowing look passed between the two. The runner climbed into his car, stabbed his datajack into the rigger interface and the car began to speed off. Kate frantically opened comms with the team. They had a rigger to catch.

The Chase

Samsara sprinted past Kate and leapt into the Ford Americar to follow the rigger as Maestro walked a safe distance away from the museum's ward to command his bound Spirit, Baritone to follow the car on it's course into the San Francisco suburbs. With a surprisingly competent mix of aerial spirit scouting and matrix overwatch, Samsara was able to locate the rigger's vehicle. A quick team navigation of the local area and Samsara piloted the car through a convenient shortcut through the backyards of the nearby home's, smashing through garbage cans and mailboxes and leaving tracks through flower beds. As the dwarven rigger turned the corner, Samsara's vehicle slammed through a fenced mini-garden and onto the street in front of him. The door opened and with a flying leap, the wired up adept leaped up and onto the roof of the other car.


The rigger stepped on the gas and accelerated as Samsara held on for dear life. Centipede began re-routing traffic to try and slow them down as Maestro and Kate began juicing the runners up with kind words and calibrations respectively. Baritone materialized in the air above the car and turret mounted gun mounts popped out of the roof of the car. This rigger wasn't going down without a fight.

Samsara was instantly blasted with a full clip of APDS. Then another. Somehow, she stubbornly refused to fall. Baritone went astral once more and re-materialized inside the car as Samsara kicked the mounted turret so hard it exploded. The car accelerated to its top speed and Samsara received a message. "Jump off my car or I crash it and kill us all." With the grin underneath her mask and the words of her team egging her on, Samsara leaned down into the window, where the now-terrified rigger glanced up from his translucent rigger cocoon. Dripped blood and riddled with armor piercing heavy-machine gun rounds, Samsara responded in her usual upbeat lilt, "Do you really think that can kill me?"

The rigger stopped the car.

After a polite exchange of words and a mutual understanding of his own mortality should he refuse, the rigger (with Samsara sitting in the seat next to him, smiling the whole way) drove back with them to the no-tell motel. Surprising no one, the rigger was very cooperative and not at all terrified of the cybered up adept calmly pulling heavy machine gun rounds out of her body in front of him. He fed them a line of info about him and his team. He went by the tag "Immortal Joe" both as a reference to a very old movie but also because his name was Joe and he drives cars. He was sub-contracted partway through after the runners had a minor setback. The team was 3 other members, a hard-ass mercenary and ex EVO sniper woman by the name of Puzhinat, a mysterious mage going by Whisperer and a paranoid decker with the tag "THUM8DR1V3". After the runner teams early little failings that led to a Seattle runner team being called in, they'd been very paranoid. Regular calls and check-ins, minimal hackable matrix presence. General extreme, escalated paranoia. What could go wrong?

Through a bit of commlink digging and more "interrogation" (the little dude just kind of told them whatever they asked), they also found out the runners were staying at relatively high-class hotel called "Luxurious Rest". Centipede sent off a message informing Immortal Joe's team that things were cool and normal and the runners settled in for some first aid before tackling the hotel.

The Hotel

"Luxurious Rest" turned out to be a hotel downtown, about 15 stories high. Centipede instantly cracked his knuckles and got ready to dive into the host for the check-in registry. The host turned out to be an ivy covered, almot angelic variant of the hotel. His centipede persona wriggled inside and began rooting through the files, dodging the searchlights of the glowing patrol IC. But not the gaze of the security spider, a glowing figure pressed into a doorman's suit. As Centipede frantically dug through the encrypted and databombed files, the spider grabbed him by the tail and began slamming his long, Centipede body around, brute forcing a handful of marks. Centipede cracked the file and sent it off to the team and began to crawl out of the host but the glowing spider slammed him against the wall one final time with a brutal data-spike that almost killed the decker and left him link-locked. Kate yanked the plug on Centipede's command and the dumpshock knocked the frail, blind decker into unconciousness.

The team patched him up before he bled out. They combed through the files, managing to spot their runner teams room. A three bed window room on the 13th floor.

Maestro went in first, Samsara and Kate flanking him. The interior of the hotel was as immaculate as the outside but the indiviuals inside were ... less so. Cheap suits over armored vests and concealed fire-arms. Duffel bags with conspicious protruding shapes. Maestro smiled. The thin veil of luxury over a dark underbelly, the greased palms and smiles that hid it all. This was something he understood. He strode up to the front desk and got the team a room on the 13th floor. The attendant gave him a knowing smile and handed him the key, though offered him a piece of advice. "Remember the rules."

The team geared up for what might be the final stretch of the job. Kate ran suveillance while Samsara and Centipede took some time to heal. Maestro decided to summon a spirit but instead of the greasy, suited spirits of man he was used to bringing forth, a A Certain Pumpkin-Headed Spirit showed up for a moment instead, cackling at the poor mage and vanishing in a puff of spooky smoke. Blinking in confusion, Maestro sighed and attemped another summoning, this one went off without a hitch. The team settled in to watch the room for any signs of movement but even after several hours, there was no movement in or out of the San Francisco runner team's room.

The team suited up and marched up to the door. A hotel attendant watched the team in the hallway with their weapons and full body armor. He calmly stepped backward into the elevator.

Samsara breached the door first, smashing through with a suped-up cyberhand punch and instantly severing the chords to a bundle of flashbangs above the door. She frantically lept onto the grenade, stopping the explosion from knocking out her team but leaving her rattled. The team filed in, Kate using her old knowledge and tactics from her SEAL days and leading the charge. The entrance led to a hallway and a bathroom, where it looked like the team had been sleeping. A door to the side led to the window roomed. Centipede ran a matrix perception test and spotted a deck in the bathroom and Samsara, beign Samsara charged ahead into the window room.


Inside was NOT a runner team. Instead, there was a single orkish man sitting cross-legged on the bed. He wore a cheap suit jacket and slacks over his bare chest, which was covered in scars. On the astal, a second figure wrapped around his aura. He smiled as the runners entered and held up his right hand, where he held a detonator.

As he opened his mouth to begin negotiations, Samsara struck first, leaping forward and snatching the remote out of his hand just as the window shattered and a hail of high-caliber gel rounds slammed into her leg. Kate opened fire and Maestro and his spirits moved in, dropping mind as the sniper fired more rounds into Samsara's legs and the mage took swings at Samsara, empowered by the spiritual energy of his channeled spirit.

Unfortunately for the San Francisco runners, it was 4 (+2 spirits) against 3. The mage fought hard but after Maestro mind magic'd the mage into dropping his channeling, it was practically over. Centipede told the opposing decker to walk away and the two parted ways without bloodshed. Unfortunately for Kate, the mage wasn't gonna go down without a fight. With a crackle of lightning, he pointed a finger and launched a bolt of glowing electricity directly at Maestro.

And Kate stepped in the way.

The bolt hit her head on, the electrical pulse nearly frying her from the voltage alone. The bolt would have killed the average person, let alone the ssquishy mage it was intended for. Kate dropped to the ground, the smell of burning hair and gunpowder filling the room.

"Not today."

She climbed to her feet, scorched but not defeated. As she took aim at the mage, a small voice whispered to her, offering her the shot if she did the little thing of not running in Sophocles for one little month.

She took Jack's bargain.

The hail of bullets connected, each shot dead center and the mage dropped like a stone. Things were silent in the hotel room.

The "cyberdeck" (a commlink running wrapper) in the bathroom rang. The runners answered. Across the building, the sniper pushed aside her RPC cloaked and revealed herself. She held a second detonator.

The negotiation was short. With the runner hotel security quickly closing in, the runners opted for the age old negotiation tactic of just refusing to fucking back down. Samsara raised the point of blowing a hole in the side of the building being bad for their rep and that having the sniper walk away with a detonator in hand is not exactly a guarantee. Somehow it worked and Puzhinat decided to cut her losses and leave without turning the room into rubble. The runners rappelled out of the shattered window as the hotel security swarmed in, just a few seconds too late.

The Aftermath

The runners had been marked as a threat by the San Francisco runners. As they sped out of town, they somehow managed to dodge the cops AND the contact network informing any sighting of them to some very angry runners. Unfortunately, they were spotted moving towards theiy motel safehouse and had to leave Immortal Joe there before a second runner team converged to wipe them out.

They drove to an airfield to meet Pelican and escaped the city in one piece. Puzhinat had been scared enough by the threat and the enemy runner team, despite all being left alive, were splintered. They decided to not risk a second encounter with the team and cut their losses. Shock and awe paid off. Puzhinat in particular was very much in no position to continue the job, being actively chased down by the runner hotel for almost detonating an explosive inside the premises. That does in fact, violate the rules.

The runners landed in Seattle and after a few days, received a call from Mrs. Frost to meet at the library once again. The Agent wasn't pleased about none of the opposing runners being brough in alive but he wired the money over regardless.

A museum curator had been saved and no one had to die. Although somewhere in San Francisco, there is now a VERY angry sniper.

Rewards

(Run rewards were doubled due to 12 hours of runtime)

20k or up to 40k in SINs and fake licenses (10 RVP)

11 Karma (11 RVP)

20 CDP (9 RVP)

-5 Rep With The Runners of San Francisco


For Kate:

+2 Loyalty with Bautista

Ascension Reward RVP subtracted from run RVP

Toughness at Chargen Price (9 rvp)


For Maestro:

Watch the Suit at Chargen Price (3 RVP)


Optional Contacts (Subtracted from run RVP):

Mrs. Frost (5/2, aspects are being fixed)

Kenneth "Flamesaw" Murphy (2/4)

Pelican (2/2)

Bautista (4/2)

Game Quotes

Player After Action Reports (AARs)

Katherine Tyler

Well, It worked out. We saved that nice old librarian's friend, and none are the wiser. Except the Shadowrunners of Frisco. But we'll deal with that later. Working with Samsara again is always a pleasure, and Maestro is eccentric, but very competent. I'll say that the run was a little rough, and we had some hard hurdles to jump over, but we managed to get the job done. I think we kind of left a mess, but we made it out and no one died. Well, Maestro almost got blasted into a crispy husk, but we took care of that. That pain editor I'm getting later is gonna come in very handy if I keep taking hits like that.